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Posts in Category: Random

Setting the record straight

Thursday 7th December 2017

This is a lovely little article celebrating the Martini. Spoiled only by, er, the recipe it gives for making a Martini:

The best Martini will always be the coldest Martini. Lukewarm presentations just don’t cut it. If you can, put your glasses, your bottle of gin or vodka and your shaker in the freezer at least half an hour before your guests arrive. […] My recipe uses old-fashioned proportions–four parts gin to one part vermouth–in a silver shaker. (Silver will make your liquids colder than a glass shaker.) I toss in a dash of orange bitters (available from Fee Brothers in Rochester, New York), then shake. And I mean shake it!

No.

  • Vodka does not belong in a Martini. If you substitute gin for vodka, it’s a Vodka Martini. This is an inferior drink1, and should never be referred to as a Martini.
  • Stir – gently – don’t shake. Shaking breaks the ice, dilutes it to fuck and ruins the drink.
  • 4 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. 4 to fucking 1?! If you’re 8 years old, maybe. Anything less than 6 to 1 can’t be called a Martini. 8 to 1 is the sweet spot.
  • Orange bitters. Fuck no. Gin and dry vermouth, lemon twist or a couple of olives to garnish, thats it.
  • He’s right about the temperature. Glasses in the freezer beforehand, and serve it fucking cold.

This is the simplest (and, depending on when you ask me2, the best) cocktail. Almost no-one makes it right, but now you won’t make that mistake.

That is all.

  1. However if you add a little bit of vodka to the gin you get a Vesper, which is delicious []
  2. I alternate between this and the Negroni []

Posted In: RandomRant Tagged: | No Comments

Everyone goes crazy over such and such and such

Monday 25th January 2016

I’ve been blogging – on and (mainly) off, in one place or another – since about 2004. In fact this very blog was started in 2007, so coming up for 9 years now(!). Reading through some of the early scribbles (and please don’t take that as a cue to trawl the archives, they’re awful), I see posts about religion, ramblings about motorsport, many many entries about procrastination, and song lyrics shoehorned in as blog titles.

So it’s still very me; at a basic level those are all things that I’d probably write about now. Sure, now I’m procrastinating on chartership reports instead of exam revision and the lyrics are from songs released in the last decade rather than the 60s, but the basic concept is pretty similar.

It’s still me, but not quite the same.

Reading through those old posts is a brilliant – if actually quite horrifying – experience. Seeing my thoughts from way back when, the general theme is “shit, I wrote that?!”. Call it the arrogance of youth or whatever; reading them with older eyes I just realise how I sounded. It also brings back a flood of memories. Of what was going on in my life when I wrote the blog, what I was feeling, and generally what got under my skin. I’m glad to say that those things have changed, at least.

I’m in the back half of my 20s now. Whilst in broad brush strokes I’m the same as ever, reading back those old blogs makes me realise that I’m a very different person. In terms of how I think and how I approach life, I’m just different. More comfortable with who I am, probably; and because of that more confident, less eager to prove myself. I have no idea if that translates into how other people see me; a lot of the people I see most often now are people I didn’t know back when I wrote this regularly, so they have no baseline for comparison.

None of this is to say that I think I’ve grown up to be amazing. I’m comfortable with who I am, but I acknowledge I can be a dick sometimes. The thing is that everyone is a dick sometimes; the trick is to ignore the people who act that way more often than not.

The odd thing is that I almost feel like I can pinpoint the time when I changed; a certain moment when a switch was flicked and I became comfortable with who I am. Which is almost certainly bullshit. People don’t work like that, we change gradually in response to many things.

I don’t apologise for not blogging. I try to write every now and then, get bored and then go do something more exciting. I won’t promise that I’ll try and write regularly or whatever because I can almost guarantee that won’t happen. Probably best to say that I’ll write whenever I feel I want to record something.

And on that note, I’m off to the pub. See ya in another year (or so)!

Posted In: RandomStuff Tagged: | 1 Comment

France in June…

Tuesday 19th June 2012

So yesterday I got back home after two and a half weeks in France. Went out for a weekend at the start of the month with work, and decided to stay out afterwards to visit Paris:

Champs-Élysées

After a week there, got the TGV back west to go back to work. Race week at Le Mans:

Le Mans pitlane at night

All in all, the last couple of weeks have been pretty good…

Posted In: MotorsportRandom Tagged: | No Comments

Planning fail

Wednesday 15th June 2011

I’m travelling down to Cardiff tomorrow to visit some friends, and because I’ve done the drive to Cardiff so many times that it’s become incredibly tedious, I’m going to go by train. So I went to thetrainline.com to book my ticket, from Birmingham to one of the stations in Cardiff, via Cardiff Central (for reasons unknown, it won’t let me plan a route from my local station). Here is the journey that the online planner suggested. Note the first 3 stages:

Hmm. I think I’ll book my ticket elsewhere.

Posted In: Random Tagged: | 5 Comments

WTF?

Thursday 2nd December 2010

At the European Grand Prix in Valencia this year, Mark Webber had a pretty hairy accident. He ran into the back of Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, and flipped.

Not good, but he walked away. This sort of thing is an occupational hazard for racing drivers, really.

Anyway, here’s a video by a crazy person:

I’m not sure if it’s fake or not. It looks real (she’s got lots of other similarly weird videos on YouTube), and I think it’s hilarious. I especially like the end, where she just stares at the camera with the crazy eyes for about a minute. Nice.

Posted In: MotorsportRandom Tagged: | 4 Comments

Devil’s Advocate

Wednesday 20th January 2010

So it was announced today (well yesterday, but I’ve not slept yet so it’s still in my “today”, if that makes sense) that Cadbury’s are being bought by Kraft (who already own Milka, Toblerone and Terry’s). As far as I can tell, there’s been lots of negative reaction to this, but why? A business is (potentially!) being sold to another business, because it’ll make the shareholders money. The people who run the business have a responsibility to the shareholders to run the business to do make them money, so how can they be accused of “selling out”? A business exists to make money, and Cadbury’s is no different. Kraft say they want to invest in the site at Bournville (I suggest building a pub :-p) and maintain production elsewhere, and they also say that they want to bring more jobs to Britain, which can only be a good thing.

I might be missing something . I’ve been busy with revision and the like so I’ve not read the news too much, so if I am missing something, what is it?

Posted In: Random Tagged: | 6 Comments

Things You Don’t Know About Me

Thursday 24th December 2009

Considering that Blogs are inherently personal things, it’s perhaps odd that I try to avoid writing anything too personal. Other people blog about life and love and things like that, but I couldn’t bring myself to write about myself like that on the Internet. The weird thing is that if I went to the pub with any of the people who comment here regularly, then I’d probably be more than happy to prattle on about that sort of stuff. I think it’s the fact that it’s available to anyone, whenever I write something there’s the nagging thought of “can this come back to bite me?” which stops me saying anything too obvious.

If you read my blog you can probably make certain inferences about me, and you’d possibly know certain things about me that people that I regularly see don’t know. I can’t think what, but I’m sure theres something. I think that the reasons why people read blogs is interesting. I’ve always tried to avoid posts which are too much about the daily grind because I think that people would find them boring, but then when I read other people’s blogs which are like that I almost always find them pretty interesting. I think people are just naturally nosy, so the opportunity so see a snapshot of someone elses life, even if you don’t know them, is pretty compulsive.

I find it interesting reading back through my old entries, here and elsewhere. Theres a lot of really subtle references to things which reflect where I was at that time. Or maybe they’re not subtle, but no-one commented on them at the time so I think I got away with it. Only a couple of people that read this would know what I’d be referring to anyway, so I suppose that helps.

It’s not as if I’m trying to be mysterious or anything like that. Really I don’t like talking about myself, and to a point I hate it when people talk about themselves too much. You know how some people always have loads of amusing anecdotes which they share at any opportunity? Well I don’t do that, I just don’t think to do it. I could probably think of a few, but really I can’t stand it when other people do that so I don’t do it myself. I also don’t talk about friends too much; my uni friends probably couldnt name three of my home friends, and vice versa, wherease I could probably do so for most of them. Bloody hell, my parents probably don’t know the names of most of my friends! It’s not that I’ve done that on purpose, I just don’t talk about them that much to people who don’t know them.

Drama annoys me. People who live their life constantly going from one crisis to the next really irritate me, because really they just want the attention. I’m not one for showing too much of what’s going on under the surface; I’d be surprised if even the people who are closest to me could tell when I’m feeling particularly down in the dumps (unless I’ve told them as much). So I guess that spills over into my blogging. When I started writing the intention was to keep it more “factual”; for my blog to be a place to write about my opinions and basically rant, but not a sort of “diary” thing. I think it’s gotten more personal over time, but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable with writing about my love life, for instance. Not that there’s anything at all to report on that front (other than the same depressing story as for the last way too long), but whatever.

Anyhow, I was going somewhere with this but I got distracted by Monty Python clips on YouTube. And now I’m tired, so sleep beckons…

Posted In: RandomSleepStuff Tagged: | 5 Comments

Waiting for a train…

Thursday 17th September 2009

So the WordPress iPhone app has suddenly decided to work for me. I have no idea how or why it’s happened, but it’s probably best to just accept these things and move on…

I realise that I’ve somewhat gone off the boil with the htpc thing (thankyou Callan :p). I spent a few days tinkering as I was writing the entries, then had to go to Cardiff for a day and since then I’ve sorta been distracted by other stuff. Ironically, as the project started as a way to reuse an old pc, I’ve essentially ended up building a bespoke system for it. Really I need now to finish doing that, rejig Windows, then actually install it in Cardiff. Anyway, I’ll continue this in another post…

So I start back at uni next week. Well, it’s freshers week and lectures actually start a week on Monday, but you get the idea. It’s been a good year and an especially good summer. I’ve been doing a job which I enjoyed, travelled up and down the country for various reasons, spent time with various friends that I don’t generally get to see much and just generally had a good time. I’m really reluctant to go back to student life. Really i’m dreading having to motivate myself somehow. I keep telling myself to treat it like a job; get up, go to uni, spend the days working or in lectures and then go home and forget about it. If I do that I’ll enjoy it. I’m worried that I’ll do my usual trick of leave it all to the last possible minute, do crap in exams, then not be able to get a good job…

There was some point I was gonna blog about which I’ve now forgotten. Frustrating.

I think I’m gonna miss driving this year. I’m still gonna have my car, but I no longer have reason to do a few hundred miles every week. I used to really enjoy my Monday morning 6am drives to work. Driving through the dark with not much else on the roads and some good music on the stereo, it’s a really good way to relax, gather your thoughts.

I generally find driving therapeutic though. I think it’s because driving is partly automatic; you pay attention but part of what youre doing you basically don’t think about, so you take a step away from thinking about Whatever, but can still churn things over in the back of your mind until suddenly something clicks and things seem clearer.

Also, driving is really fun…

Anyway, I ceased to be waiting for a train about 10 minutes ago, and I’m worried that if I keep writing I won’t notice my stop. Also Ive basically been rambling, and I probably shouldn’t embarrass myself further by continuing…

Posted In: CarsGeekRandomStuffTechnology Tagged: | 4 Comments

Epic Fail

Thursday 28th May 2009

So I’ve just been trying to write a couple of the things off the list in the last entry, but it’s not working. So instead, here’s some drivel.

I sometimes struggle with what to blog about. I’m told that I’m very opinionated, but I don’t like writing stuff like that too much because who wants to read the bollocky opinions of some twat they don’t know on the Internet? The other extreme is to keep a blog that’s basically like a diary, but then I don’t like doing that for a similar reason; who would read it? Both are silly, because I’m fairly sure that theres lots of nosy bastards on the net who do enjoy reading such stuff (I know, I’m one of ’em :D ).

I guess the main reason for not keeping a diary-esque blog is that I don’t want that sorta thing on the internet…

I used to be able to think of stuff to write down really easily, and once I thought of something I could bash something out pretty well. I think I can still think of stuff I want to write (see the list on the last entry), but for some reason I find it much harder to transfer those thoughts into a well-written blog. I think a big reason is that I’m out of practice, because I don’t blog as often any more. And I don’t blog because I’m out of practice. Yeah, that works well…

Like I said, I tried to write a couple of things this evening, but to be honest what I wrote just seemed to be a bit muddled. Maybe it’s because I’ve been at work and I’m tired, I dunno. I should probably write an essay plan or something. Or even better, write things down when I think about them!

The only thing I really feel motivated to write about regularly is motorsport. But I don’t think anyone who reads this would care, so I don’t really bother. Which is daft really…

Anyway, it’s Thursday now. Which means that the weekend starts tomorrow afternoon. I’m gonna try to write something a bit less shit at the weekend. Dunno what about, but just something. Of course, I say “try”, that doesnt mean it’ll get published. Le sigh.

Just so your time isn’t completely wasted by this entry, listen to this. Tis good.

Posted In: RandomSiteStuff Tagged: | 7 Comments

Why Don’t You Write Me?

Saturday 11th April 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, and even longer since I’ve written anything of any real substance. Obviously the main reason for that is work. It’s pretty long hours, and when I finish at the end of the day I’m rarely in the mood to do anything that involves too much thinking. Then the weekend is the only time I’m home, so I generally have other stuff I want/need to do then before I shoot off back to work at 6 o’clock on Monday morning…

I like writing. I especially enjoy it when I have something specific to say, a point to make. I like the whole process of working out what I’m going to say, how to say it, how to structure the thing to make the most sense, etc. It’s the same sort of pleasure I get from doing a decent bit of coursework; if I have a rough idea where I’m going with something, then I like translating that idea onto the page and I the satisfaction of the end result.

Recently there have been quite a few things that I’ve wanted blog about; generally as a result of driving a few hundred miles a week. It kinda gives you time to think. A few times I’ve actually started to write something down, but every time I’ve started to do that I’ve struggled to actually articulate what I was trying to say. A few times I’ve struggled so much with the right way to word something, that I’ve forgotten what exactly the point was that I was going to make! Frustrating, to say the least.

I was gonna write one such thing tonight, but realised that actually it’s way past my bedtime and theres no way I can make my point coherently. The reasons for writing this instead are that at least then I’ve written something, and because it might make me remember to write something better soon…

Posted In: RandomSleepStuff Tagged: | 2 Comments